Sunday October 03, 2004
And it's not just my supposed hypocrisy that bothers people. They complain about everything! I'll post some of the hate mail I've received, just so you can see what a lone voice of truth has to live with these days.
One reader writes:
This is how the murky brown segment of the right operates these days. If they can't dispute your facts, they start calling for censorship. Sorry, "Adrian", I won't delete that post. I refuse to censor my views just because they contradict your rosy-red worldview.
Did millions die in Afghanistan? Does Noam Chomsky still believe so? Who knows? But there's a larger truth here, one the rightofascist brigades refuse to acknowledge: When the Americans used 9/11 as a pretext to invade Afghanistan, they very well could have caused a humanitarian disaster that might have killed millions of people. But they did so anyway, with no regard for the terrible price the Afghan people could be forced to pay - and might still have to, unless things begin to stabilize.
I did some checking up on this mr Adrian Mayall. He went far to hide it, but I've learned that he mailed me from a computer in the mit.edu domain. Is it a coincidence, mr Mayall, that you're affiliated with the same university Noam Chomsky works for? Why do you want to smear his reputation? Revenge? Blackmail? Promoting your own career? What's your agenda? I believe that's a more interesting question than whether I got all the details right about the silent genocide in Afghanistan. I've notified MIT about your activities, mr Mayall. Let's see how easy you find it to smear Noam Chomsky without a mail account to do it from.
More hate mail:
Here we go again. The wacko attacko never ends. After a brief opening designed to lull me with obvious flattery, Rik Edmondson brings out his poison dagger at the end: You're a Nazi! You support Adolf Hitler!
Sigh. How often do I have to repeat this? I am not a Nazi. I do not support Adolf Hitler. That is not the face of Adolf Hitler up in the banner. See for yourself. This is what Adolf Hitler really looked like. They don't look anything alike. The checkbone is different, the moustache is smaller, even the lighting and pose is different!
But why spend time attempting to prove that I'm not a Nazi, when that is exactly what mr Edmondson wants me to do? If you can make someone deny that they're a Nazi, that's almost as good as an admission. It sows doubt. Could there be something to it? Could Comrade Medvedsilnyn really be a secret admirer of Adolf Hitler?
When you allow doubt like that to creep into your mind, slime like Rik Edmondson will have won.
So let's turn the gun a bit. Who is Rik Edmondson? Why does he want people to believe I'm a Nazi? Why does any right-wing propagandist spread wicked anti-socialist rumours? Because they're afraid. Because they know the revolution is coming, and there's not a thing they can do about it. As for who this guy really is, I don't know. The mail came from an account at hotmail.com, which is registered to a company called Microsoft. You may have heard of it. I don't know if there is a multinational corporation standing behind this, or if mr "Edmondson" works alone, but this fact certainly puts his fairy tale about "old school" Communism into doubt, doesn't it?
Luckily not all mail I get is hate-filled right-wing poison. I have a lot of intelligent and well-informed readers. But it's just fair to warn anyone out there who has considered speaking up with their concerns about capitalism and George W. Bush as I have: They'll come for you. They'll come for you with all the lies and all the hatred they've got. They'll tear you down if you let them. Don't let them. As long as there is just one lone tower of truth and honesty left in the blogosphere, there is hope.
Tuesday May 18, 2004
Yes it's true as Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias points out this week: The chest-thumping, might-is-right chaterati of the blogosphere, the venomous neocon pantheon of online vitriol, toilets of pro-war misinformation, malice and hatred, have fallen silent. What did you expect? A herd of insult-happy web guns whose whole schtick is to mock Maureen Down and Robert Fisk, the warbloggers have stretched their cognitive dissonance so thin it was only a matter of time before they gave up. The obvious can only be denied so long.
Consider some of the atrocious acts and statements pro-war web pundits have been expected to defend over the last year. First you were supposed to cheer as the Jewish-by-proxy war machine laid waste to cities that had existed continously since the birth of civilization. You were supposed to nod in solemn pride as Bush declared the "end of combat", and turn a blind eye to the hard fighting that followed. You were expected to denounce Iraqi resistance fighters as "terrorists" whenever any of their attacks inadvertently failed to kill American war profiteers and struck Iraqi collaberators instead. You were expected to euphemise and defend torture, censorship and random killing of Iraqi civilians, and through all of it, with a straight face, remain standing up on your pathetic little soap box for your audience of five, or ten, and maintain, no insist, that the Iraqi people were still better off now than they were under Saddam. Got to keep things in perspective, right?
And they did it eagerly. For what? A sense of duty? Money? Pure malice? What we're talking about is nothing less than the massive intellectual prostitution of thousands of people all over the world to the cause of the neo-con cabal in Washington. Day by day, driven by some infernal purpose, ever yearning to outdo the lies of yesterday in wickedness and perversity, they have stretched, distorted and invented, mocked and persecuted. Abu Ghraib was only the latest in a row of atrocities to defend and excuse, and apparently a drop too much for many.
Witty most of these warbloggers aren't, as Zerbisias catchingly puts it, but the damage they have done to the cause of peace and intercultural understanding is immeasurable. Consider the power they have over Google, the number one search engine in the world. Not many people know this, but Google actually ranks the pages it scans through not based on the content itself, but on how many people link to it, and how they describe that content. It is for instance perfectly possible for hundreds of websites to gang up and link to the website of, say, well-known Bush skeptic Michael Moore, with the text "miserable failure", like this: miserable failure. Then, whenever anyone searches for miserable failure on Google, Michael Moore comes out near top! But where would you find hundreds of website owners dishonest and angry enough to exploit Google and smear a political opponent in such a way? Why, in the pro-war blogosphere, of course. Such cases of "Google bombing" abound, and complaints to the owners of Google (Americans, of course) have been curtly dismissed.
Or consider the number of blogosphere smear campaigns political dissenters have become targets off. Robert Fisk and Noam Chomsky are the best known victims of online vitriol, but the warbloggers have also made a sport out of digging up even minor pundits in small-town newspapers, qualified only by their refusal to prostitute their integrity to the mad world conquest fantasies of the White House neo-cons, and subject them to merciless ridicule. This is known as "fact-checking your ass", which gives you an indication of the intellectual level we're talking about. Above-mentioned Antonia Zerbisias is a good example. Not only has she been called a "fat and stupid" "dumb leftist" and a "Jew hater", some bloggers have even lamely accused her of factual errors, against which she has valiantly but futilely defended herself. Against an army of fourteen-year-old Arab haters whose idea of rational discourse is to look up "sources" that back up their "claims" that a respected Israel and Bush critic is "wrong", what response is a responsible newspaper pundit left with but "why don't you get jobs, or get lives?" You can't argue with a mob, and you shouldn't ever try.
I'm glad to hear that the warbloggers are having second thoughts about their Bush worship, and are taking time off to contemplate their wickedness. I haven't had time to fully research the drop in warblog activity Zerbisias mentions, but a quick scan reveals that Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, the self-styled Grand Central Station of the blogosphere, who formerly posted about a gazillion entries a day, has at the moment been quiet for more than 12 hours [*]. That's half a day. And my evil twin brother has only written one entry in the last week. Just "fatigue", and "not having much to write about", or has their little cardboard fantasy worlds finally collapsed? Enjoy the real world, my "friends". And we will expect a public apology.
(Update: [*] A reader replies that I should have compensated for different time zones here. Apparently Norway is "ahead" of the US, so Glenn hasn't actually been quiet for a full 12 hours, which he finds "inconceivable". Well, there are different opinions about that, and I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. I do find it conspicous, though, that this reader dishonestly ignores my overall argument, and focuses on a lone "factual error". If he's not a warblogger already, he certainly has the perversity for it.)
Tuesday March 02, 2004
Almost nobody dares to criticize our neocon world rulers these days. That's why it's extra refreshing to see George Michael take a public stand against the loose cannon of the Labor Party, the lapdog of Washington and the destroyer of up to several buildings in downtown Baghdad, Tony Blair. George Michael is an aging popstar who as lead singer of Wham released several landmark pop albums in the 80's, which included such hits as Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. But somehow, reading his expert take on the Blair regime, I suspect his best work is still ahead of him:
George Michael describes the prime minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, as "dangerous", in a new interview in the magazine The Big Issue, which is published on behalf of and sold by homeless people in London. - Globally speaking I think he's a dangerous man. Tony Blair thinks he knows best, but he can't live up to his own ego. [..] I can't imagine what it feels like for parents who have lost their children to hear Tony Blair's pathetic statements about how he believes the world is now a safer place. That shows a lack of respect.
Yes - consider Saddam Hussein, who lost both his sons in a treacherous attack by American special forces. Winning an uconstitutional, illegal war for oil wasn't enough for these guys? They had to punish the family of their enemies as well? It's behavior typical of regimes the US doesn't like to compare itself with, regimes that would be insulted if it did. And that's not even half of it. Consider the explosion in unemployment since most of Iraq's government was dismantled - how many children of former security officers will that kill? Or consider crime: The streets of Baghdad used to be safe. Now hardly a day goes by without parents losing their children in terrorist attacks inspired by Tony Blair. How does he sleep at night, knowing all this?
George Michael takes a considerable risk by speaking this openly:
This isn't the first time the singer kicks hard against the powers that be. In the music video "Shoot the Dog" in 2002, he portrayed Blair as the poodle of president George W. Bush. The single, which Michael himself called a political satire, flopped. - That single is the most political thing I've ever done. The risks I'm taking are enormous and completely unnecessary, George said before it was launched.
Some risks indeed. Life for the subversive artist has never been easy, but there's a reason they call this kind of art avant-garde: It's typically years ahead of what ordinary people can comprehend. In the future, I'm sure we'll all look back on such singles as Shoot the Dog as visionary (even prophetic?) displays of artistic bravery. Don't worry, George, your contemporaries may not understand you, but history will admire your sacrifice.
Friday February 06, 2004
Lord Hutton struck me as an honorable man, but the moment he presented his report on the Kelly suicide I knew there was something fishy about him. We already know that Blair and Bush invented, exaggerated and misinterpreted nearly all their evidence against Iraq, that the "imminent threat" was a gigantic scam, directed by sinister neo-conservative string-pullers in secretive Washington think-tanks with connections to Israel. And the BBC was one of few Western media organizations brave enough to point this out. So why did Hutton choose to put all blame on the BBC, and absolve the Blair administration?
Clearly there's much we don't know here, but we can speculate. Perhaps Blair threatened Hutton. Perhaps he was bought and paid from the start. Or perhaps, as a member of the morally corrupt British aristocracy, he didn't need to be bought. It's not difficult to think of explanations that are more likely than that the BBC made a mistake, and then refused to admit it. This is the lighthouse of European journalism we're talking about, not just any commercial tabloid.
With all this corruption in the air, the sweet smell of integrity is more refreshing than ever. John le Carre, one of my favourite authors, (who I intend to read very soon), is out with a new novel, Absolute Friends, a brave and thrilling expose of the inner workings of the Blair and Bush administrations. It deals quite openly with the Kelly case, and the question, as NRK points out, is which account is closer to the truth, Hutton's or le Carre's?
The BBC was harshly criticized while Tony Blair was absolved in Lord Hutton's report on the Kelly case last week. The accusations that Downing Street had sexed up the intelligence reports were groundless, claimed Hutton. In John le Carre's latest novel, this is exactly what happens.
What sources does le Carre have access to? We can only speculate - perhaps a high ranking intelligence officer or a disillusioned Labor politician - but the fact alone that he blames the scandal on "neo-conservative theologists" gives his story credibility Lord Hutton's lack. Novelists often se further and clearer than the rest of us. George Orwell foresaw the credit card society in Nineteen Eighty-Four. The X-Files asked tough questions about the clandestine black projects of the US government. Babylon 5 gave us an accurate prediction of George W. Bush's rise to power. Now le Carre is presenting his alternative Hutton report. Written without pressure from any interested parties, it is almost certainly more reliable - and definitely better written.
As NRK points out, le Carre is a former intelligence officer known for his reliability. Lord Hutton is a British aristocrat with a clear anti-BBC bias. Who would you trust to carry out an honest investigation against the lying scumbags in Downing Street? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Tuesday January 20, 2004
Another American puppet regime in the Middle East has decided to build a racist wall to intimidate its neighbours:
Kuwait's cabinet has approved the building of a new security barrier on its 217-kilometre land border with Iraq to prevent infiltrators from entering the country al-Siyassa newspaper reported on Monday.
What is it about neo-(nazi)-cons and wanting to be encircled by huge concrete walls? Is it some kind of Freudian cry for help, like the way they compensate for their (reportedly) small penises with big guns and third world invasions? Perhaps if someone had invested in a psychoanalyst for Bush and the rest of the cabal four years ago, "9/11" and the whole disastrous aftermath could have been avoided. "Now, George, we've been over this before. Your irrational fear of bearded Arabs stems back to your failure to get attention from your mother when you were three. Here, have some prozac and stop drooling over my globe."
Unfortunately noone were that farsighted. As a result we now have to "protect" ourselves from illusory enemies by erecting walls between one another - cultural walls, legal walls and physical walls. How petty, how shortsighted. I still remember a dream about a world without borders, without walls, where we will no longer be ruled by paranoia and fear. A world of peace, love and mutual understanding. What Kuwait is doing goes in the other direction, towards war, hatred and mutual distrust. At a time when the world needs a little less suspicion, and a little more hugging, the Americans and their puppet regimes now actively embrace their paranoia, and elevate hatred to a cardinal virtue.
The motive is obvious. In a world without fear, paranoia and hatred, people would see through the lies of Bush and Blair, and say no to their evil schemes. People across the world would go out in the streets and talk to each other, talk to people of other races and cultures, and they would see for themselves that we are different only on the outside. On the inside we're all the same.
In such a world there would be no need for arms races and oil wars. And Bush and his client regimes in Israel, Kuwait and other countries can not allow that to happen. So where others aspire towards a better future, they look towards the past for inspiration, towards the darkest chapters of modern history. To separate and frighten us they build miles upon miles of concrete walls, modelled after the original wall of shame, the Berlin wall. To get our support for their imperialist wars they tell wicked lies about evil "others", who hate all good, and are bent on our destruction. And to justify it all they've revived the racist ideology of apartheid. They say there are now two classes of humans, "citizens" and "foreigners". The former have all the rights and privileges. The latter almost none at all. Sound familiar? This is exactly how South Africa's right-wing government used to justify its oppression of the blacks. And the result? Entire populations in the grip of hatred and paranoia. We saw where that lead to in the 1930's.
It's time to flush away these old hatreds and bigotries, and send out a new message. Let it be shouted from every church, every mosque, every synagogue, newspaper and parliament: Tear down the walls! And hug a foreigner while you're at it.